Winter Garden Work

Photo by Paul Goebel

Photo by Paul Goebel

Ha! You thought winter meant no garden work…WRONG! There are plenty of chores to do. And remember, taking of these makes your job easier come spring. Don’t let the list’s size worry you; these need to b e done in a day. OK, here’s the list.



Winter Gardening

Vegetables and Fruits
*Store leftover seeds in a cool, dry location, such as a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
*Pick up and discard fallen fruit before spring.
*Avoid working soil when it is wet.
*In February and March, apply dormant oil to fruit trees after pruning to reduce scale and mites.
*Start seeds for transplanting.
*Obtain a soil test and make needed improvements.
*Look for plants with improved insect and disease resistance in new nursery catalogs.
*Order fruit trees and seeds.
*Peach and nectarines just prior to blooming.
*Grapes, raspberries and blackberries.

*After several hard frosts, mulch perennial beds with 2 to 4 inches of straw, shredded leaves or other light-weight organic material.
*Cut back tall rose canes to 24 inches to prevent winter breakage.
*Spread one-year-old manure around the base of hardy roses.
*Mulch tender roses by mounding soil 6 to 8 inches over plants to protect the graft.
*Incorporate organic matter into garden areas.
*Continue to plant spring bulbs until the ground is frozen.
*Water everything well before the ground freezes to prevent dry soil conditions.
*Watch for signs of frost heaving and re-cover tender roots.
*Prepare a sketch of your garden area and decide what new plants and seeds are needed.

Trees and Shrubs
*Check for rabbit damage on young trees and shrubs; 18-inch wire fencing buried one-inch in the ground should prevent further problems.
*Gently brush heavy snow from branches to reduce damage; allow the sun to melt accumulated ice.
*Cut small branches from spring-flowering shrubs and put them in a water-filled vase for a splash of spring indoors.
*Prune fruit trees (apples, pears and cherries) when temperatures are above 20 degrees F.

*Rake or mow over fallen leaves that have piled up on the lawn to prevent grass suffocation.
*Remove fallen limbs and other debris from your lawn.
*Scatter snow instead of piling it up on the lawn next to driveways and walks.
*Avoid walking on frozen lawns; it may injure the grass.
*Store leftover lawn fertilizer in a dry location out of the reach of children and pets.

*Rotate positions to produce balanced plants.
*Repot root-bound plants into a one-inch larger container.

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